ORLANDO, Fla. – Several students were hailed as heroes Friday after taking control of a school bus when the driver suffered a seizure and lost control.
Kenneth Baker, 49, was driving a bus with 39 students to Celebration High School in Osceola County when he became ill about 6:45 a.m., according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Student Mariah Hutchinson, 17, jumped from her seat as the bus collided with a guardrail and grabbed the steering wheel, FHP said. Joshua Cosme, also 17, then pulled the emergency break to stop the bus.
"If that bus continued, they would have gone over the guardrail," said Maryalisa Cousins, Hutchinson's mother.
Both students were treated and released from an area hospital, said FHP Sgt. Jorge Delahoz. A third student also was treated and released. Baker remained hospitalized in fair condition. No other injuries were reported.
"Mariah Hutchinson and Joshua Cosme's quick thinking kept this from becoming a tragic incident," Delahoz wrote in his report. "Both were hailed as heroes by the other passengers."
Jim Beekman, the director of transportation for the Osceola County School District, said Baker has been a bus driver since 1998 and had no history of illness.
"There were a lot of heroes on that bus this morning," Beekman told the Orlando Sentinel.